Chinese social media networks have blocked some images and mentions of popular cartoon character Winnie the Pooh, this Sunday. No explanation has been given yet by authorities.
In past, the self-described “bear of very little brain” has been used in a meme, where he has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a platform known as Weibo (the Twitter of China), posts with Pooh’s images were still permitted.
But comments referencing “Little Bear Winnie,” Pooh’s Chinese name, turned up error messages saying the user could not proceed because “this content is illegal”. Talking about WeChat’s official “sticker gallery”, Winnie the Pooh stickers have been removed. However, the user-generated gifs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app.
In 2013, various comparisons between Xi and Pooh first came to light. This happened after Chinese social media users began circulating a pair of pictures that placed an image of Pooh and his slender tiger friend, Tigger, beside a photograph of Xi walking with then U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2014, a photographed handshake between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was matched with an image of Pooh gripping the hoof of his gloomy donkey friend, Eeyore.
And in 2015, the political analysis portal, Global Risk Insights, called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade car paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy car “China’s most censored photo” of the year.